The Maui News - New Year's Day marked the beginning of a new law legalizing same sex civil unions in the State of Hawai'i. Tourism industry experts predict that it will be a boon to hotels and resorts throughout the state. Many hotels have made an effort to reach out to gay and lesbian couples with specials geared towards civil unions. The Maui Sunseeker, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resort in Kihei, reports that 10 ceremonies have already been booked.
The resort's owner, Chuck Spence, credits the message that legalizing the unions sends. "The law opens up the perception by the gay and lesbian community that Hawai'i is truly a welcoming state," he said. "We are aloha."
His bookings have increased by 50 percent compared to this time last year.